A new union for retail and fast food workers has launched with a campaign to bring back penalty rates.
The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) was founded in the wake of several wage scandals, including one that RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan helped unearth.
According to RAFFWU, enterprise agreements struck between major retailers and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (more commonly known as the Shoppies) are collectively stripping 500,000 workers of over $300 million each year.
“Every day retail and fast food workers have over one million dollars taken from their pay packets,” said Cullinan in a statement. “The dodgy Coles Agreement was quashed 175 days ago. Since then more than $175 million has been taken from retail and fast food workers and nothing has been done to stop it.”
The traditional union for retail workers, the Shoppies, has been representing employees for over a century and hit back at the new union in a statement.
“The so-called ‘Retail and Fast Food Workers Union’ is nothing more than an alliance of political activists an d lawyers with a stated desire to undermine the SDA and its coverage of the sector,” a spokesperson said.
Cullinan said the RAFFWU is determined to help workers it sees as underpaid. “These workers don’t have anyone in their corner. Everyone, the employers and the SDA, is lined up to stop them getting their penalty rates back.
“That ends today. We will take back our penalty rates.”
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